The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident is one of the most well-known and best-documented cases of a UFO encounter that we have, taking place over multiple nights and involving numerous high-ranking military officials as witnesses. Many skeptics have come out over the years trying to debunk it, and the best explanation the skeptics have been able to come up with is that these trained military personnel actually saw a lighthouse. And mistook it for an alien spacecraft. Sorry, but that doesn’t fly with me. Now comes a report that U.S. Air Force Colonel Ted Conrad, who was base commander when the sighting happened, is coming forward to call the whole incident a hoax. And only 30 years later. Ahem.
A senior U.S. military commander who led the investigation into UFO sightings in Suffolk has spoken out about the incident for the first time in 30 years.
The incident in 1980 was dubbed Britain’s Roswell and became a topic of fascination in the UK after a group of servicemen went into Rendlesham Forest to investigate some mysterious lights and came out convinced they had seen seen an alien spacecraft.
Now one of the men involved has spoken out for the first time and has admitted the entire episode could have been a hoax.
U.S. Air Force Colonel Ted Conrad was base commander of the airfields at Woodbridge and Bentwaters, near Ipswich.
At the time the base is believed to have stored nuclear weapons.
After spotting some strange lights in the sky two nights in a row, Col Conrad went to investigate and, after clearing some bushes, found some strange markings on trees, which he believed could have indicated a spacecraft landing.
He then picked a group of his own men and sent them into the forest that evening.
Armed with night vision goggles and a camera they searched the area and after seeing nothing suspicious some of the men returned to base.
However, Col Conrad’s deputy, Lieutenant Colonel Halt, stayed behind and kept in touch with his superior via radio.
Lt Col Halt then reported he saw more lights on the ground and in the sky.
Other senior officers on the base went outside to see if they could see the lights but nobody was able to, despite it being a perfectly clear evening.
He later filed a report to the Ministry of Defence and explained he believed the lights were ‘extraterrestrial in origin’ and also accused the U.S. and UK security services of trying to cover the incident up.
Col Conrad has always remained silent about the incident, until now.
He has said that a number of people tried to validate Halt’s story but nobody was able to and said there was no ‘hard evidence’ to back up any of his deputy’s claims and believes the entire incident might have been an elaborate hoax.
Speaking to Dr David Clarke, UFO adviser to the National Archives, he said: ‘He should be ashamed and embarrassed by his allegation that his country and England both conspired to deceive their citizens over this issue. He knows better.’
The former commander has also dismissed Sergeant Jim Penniston’s claims that he had gone into the woods on the first night of the sightings and claimed he touched an alien aircraft.
Col Conrad said he interviewed Penniston who did not say that he had touched the aircraft but did say he saw lights in the distance.
‘We saw nothing that resembled Lt Col Halt’s descriptions either in the sky or on the ground,’ he said.
Despite Col Conrad’s attack on his former colleagues, Dr Clarke believes that Halt could have witnessed an optical illusion, insisting: ‘I don’t think anyone, least of all Conrad, doubts that Halt saw ‘something’.
‘They had an extraordinary experience and that experience would remain extraordinary regardless of whether ultimately it was a lighthouse or poachers’ lanterns – which has also been suggested.’
Kevin Conde, a former U.S. security police officer near RAF Woodbridge, once told the BBC’s Inside Out programme that he played a prank while working at the base.
Conde said he only became aware of the incident 15 years after it happened and said the sightings fitted the description of a hoax he played on a colleague at the same time as the Rendlesham Forest Incident.
The Suffolk incident resurfaced claims from those living in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947 when an unexpected crash was alleged to have been the remains of a spacecraft and alien bodies.
But this was rejected by the U.S. military following a close investigation into the wreckage.
I find it very odd that Conrad waited 30 years to say anything about this. He had plenty of opportunity to dispute the claims, and never said a word, despite that fact that multiple witnesses have been speaking about this UFO experience for years. And now he has perfect recollection of everyone’s testimony from 30 years ago? The skeptics will jump all over this, but I’m not buying it. The government covers things up, we all know this. I don’t know exactly what those men saw in the woods on those nights, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the lighthouse. The same lighthouse they had been living near for years.